• Zinpea

    Zinpea features art, photography, travelers, creatives and cool projects of interesting people

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  • Zinpea

    Zinpea features art, photography, travelers, creatives and cool projects of interesting people

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  • Zinpea

    Zinpea features art, photography, travelers, creatives and cool projects of interesting people

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Interview with travel blogger Colby Burke

Colby Burke is a Hilton Head based travel blogger and freelance writer. Today we get the chance to interview him and find out how he got started in the travel writing niche as well as some of the insider secrets that he wishes to share with other aspiring writers.

As a writer is it safe to assume that you have been rejected during the beginning stages? If so, how did you handle those rejections? What advice would you give to new, or aspiring, writers about coping with rejections?

Absolutely! I spent a lot of time building my skills and establishing a client base. Although I always had a vision of "Colby Burke Hilton Head" in the back of my mind, I did not have a clear-cut way of reaching it at first. So, I had to dedicate a lot of my time and resources to establishing a fruitful business plan. After a while, people began approaching me for independent work and I established a reliable source of orders.

Nonetheless, the rejections were quite common. In fact, no writer will reach profitability without going through the wringer. A great way to cope with such situations is to not dwell on the outcomes that you cannot control. After all, when you lose a bid for work or someone stops ordering from you, there is little that can be done. The easiest way to overcome those stages is to focus on other opportunities.

What made you decide to hone in on travel guides as your main writing niche? Do you see yourself doing a travel guidebook in the future or are you sticking with digital writing for the moment?

It was a semi-unexplored niche that I was very passionate about. I spent some time looking for others who were writing in this field as I was curious about their ideas. After a while, however, I realized that there is a clear lack of writers who focus on travel guides. Well, given my interests and newly discovered skills in writing, I decided to tap into this unexplored market and begin making a name for myself. Now, I am very proud to say that doing so was the right decision as the moderate lack of competition made it possible for me to focus on writing instead of trying to outdo everyone else.

What are some of your favorite travel guides that you’ve written over the years?

It is hard to focus on just a few since I created hundreds. I will say, however, I mostly enjoy writing about small, unexplored places that most people are unaware of. So, some that come to mind include certain regions of Boston that I covered during my trip to Massachusetts as well as rural areas of West Texas. Then again, I could spend hours discussing a lot of the travel guides that covered cities on the West Coast. In the end, it all comes down to my personal preference that changes frequently.

Have you ever had an exceptionally good editor that you’ve worked with? Don’t feel like you have to share their name - just how the experience went.

Definitely. In fact, most of the editors that I have worked with thus far have been incredible. I could even go as far as to say that they carry as much as half of the credit for all of my success. When you think about the writing process, most people overlook the many different benefits of having a solid editor. After all, they are the ones who represent the final level of checks and balances that will prevent you from publishing anything that is less than perfect. More importantly, some of the editors that I have relied on have helped me draw inspiration for certain travel guides that I struggled with. Ultimately, the sheer versatility of skills that these professionals bring to the table is mind-blowing.

How many travel guides have you published online so far?

I am not entirely sure. The number is definitely counted in hundreds as I have been doing this for quite a while. Regardless, I do not really focus on the number of guides that I put out. Doing so is a mistake that many new writers fall for. Although it is good to have your name next to as many creations as possible, avoid overflowing the market with similar posts. For instance, creating dozens of travel guides that sound almost the same is a quick shortcut to losing clients. Instead, prioritize quality and innovation. After a while, you will start reaching high numbers anyway. So, trying to get there faster is not a smart decision.

Interview with Dr. Lane Sebring of Paleo Pharmacy

Founder of the renowned clinic named for him, as well as the Paleo Pharmacy, Dr. Lane Sebring is headquartered in Wimberley, Texas. Dr. Sebring earned his undergraduate in biology from the University of Texas and went on to get his doctorate from that same university's medical branch in Galveston, Texas. Later, he finished residency in family medicine and worked at a primary care facility until 1996.

Now considered one of the world experts on Paleo eating regimens and an entire area of study centered on Paleo eating and lifestyle. We sat down with Dr. Sebring and discussed several topics within the general subject of Paleo medicine.

How has paleo changed your life and your patients' lives for the better?

It has certainly helped me stay healthy and learn the importance of incorporating proper eating and exercise into my life as I get older. Paleo eating gives the body everything it needs to get through the day. Compared with the standard Western diet, Paleo is far superior and my patients prove it every day.

Describe some of the benefits people experience when sticking with a paleo diet?

There are literally hundreds of benefits, so I'll just mention my favorite three. First, Paleo eating promotes better diabetes management outcomes in people who have to deal with that malady, which totals about 30 million in the U.S. alone.

Second, Paleo eating can enhance and promote cardiovascular health, which is something everyone should be interested in. Finally, anyone wanting to get their weight under control can do well by following a Paleo diet, which shuns low-nutrient foods and foods high in "empty" calories. This conclusion is backed by the National Institutes of Health. Like I said, those are just three of the key benefits, but there are many, many more.

Share a moment in your career you're most proud of
It has to be the day I opened my clinic. That marked the first time in my career that I was truly independent and was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing: helping the greatest number of people achieve a higher quality of life in terms of health.

What is one of your favorite books on paleo?

Top of the list is Loren Cordain's incredible book that came out in 2002 but is a classic in its category. It's called "The Paleo Diet," and was the book that opened my eyes to a whole new world of scientific inquiry.

Since that first book, Dr. Cordain issued a revised version I believe, in 2010, as well as specific books about how athletes can use the Paleo diet. He also put out a cookbook and a "7-day" Paleo diet book. So, pretty much any one of those would be a smart place to start for people who want to really dig into the Paleo philosophy.

How To Learn About All Things Paleo From Dr. Sebring?

Anyone who would like to learn more about Dr. Sebring, find out how to prepare some simple Paleo recipes, or just discover more facts about the Paleo philosophy of health should visit Dr. Sebring's blog at www.drlanesebring.com, or the main site for The Sebring Clinic, at www.sebringclinic.com. He can also be contacted through his Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Vimeo links, listed below:

Connecting With Ali Mayar, Merchant Cash Advance Expert

Ali Mayar is a trusted leader in the merchant cash advance industry. After 18 years of refining his excellence in the field of finance, he recognized an area in that was underserved: Small and medium-sized businesses needed capital fast without the hassle of going through other finance loan alternatives.

In 2012, to address this unmet demand for businesses to receive customized financial solutions, Ali Mayar founded Platinum Rapid Funding Group. Recently, we had a chance to speak with him about his exciting journey in the merchant cash advance industry.

Can you give us an overview of the merchant cash advance industry?

I'll be glad to. First, I'd like to clarify what the term "merchant cash advance" means. A merchant cash advance company gives recipients of funds access to working capital quickly. It offers capital to a business in exchange for a percentage of its upcoming receivables.

A merchant cash advance can take some of the stress off a company that is experiencing a short-term financial emergency or if it just wants to receive capital in order to quickly reach its business goals.

Tell us about Platinum Rapid Funding Group. What has that journey looked like?

The journey has been one of steady growth both internally and for those whom we serve. We back it up by knowing how to address the financial challenges many businesses face.

Platinum Rapid Funding Group has sound answers to financial questions regarding what businesses need when they need it, and why they need it. We thrive off being able to help them secure funding in an efficient way. Our clients appreciate being able to avoid going the traditional bank loan route which is riddled with red tape, restrictions, and disappointments.

How do you motivate your team and hold them to high standards?

We only hire business professionals who already adhere to higher standards in the financial service industry. They come onboard being self-motivated with a proven track record of excellence and professionalism. Like me, they possess an ingrained disposition to strive to be the best in the field. This is a quality that all of our team members share. We have an open-door policy and we believe in transparency.

What's most rewarding leading your (large) team at Platinum Rapid Funding Group?

What's most rewarding is seeing tangible results. I see them every day. We've helped many companies get through a rough patch and go on to grow their businesses exponentially in a short period of time.

Other businesses have secured funding from us wanting to reach a business goal within a specific period. They would have not been able to do so in a timely manner without our prompt assistance. The staff at Platinum Rapid Funding Group feeds off our clients' successes. It really makes what we do even more worthwhile.

Share one action item our readers can implement to become more successful tomorrow.

Because your customers expect your business to stay competitive, assess the health of your equipment. Make sure it stays benchmarked with your industry's peers. If you're using outdated equipment, you may be in need of a merchant cash advance to make obtaining new equipment a reality so you can stay as competitive as possible in the market.

No matter what your goals are, we at Platinum Rapid Funding Group can give you an honest assessment and determine if a merchant cash advance is right for you.

For more details, please check out our company website or Platinum Rapid Funding Group on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/platinum-rapid-funding-group

TanTay - Expert Tips On Photographing A Story Using Minimal Color

Some might say that the most important debate in photography today is the debate between those who use color photography and those who prefer high-definition black and white photos. Those who prefer color point out that a color photograph more accurately captures the events in question, while those who prefer the black and white approach say that their style is more emotionally evocative than a color photograph and that in today's world, black and white photographs stand out more because they are less common. The truth of the matter is, you don't really have to choose.

Photo Editing

Thanks to the proliferation of modern photo editing programs like Photoshop and GIMP, it is now possible (and, in fact, quite easy) to mix the two. By taking a black and white photograph and adding color in selected areas, a photographer can place emphasis on any object or area that they choose. For a person who is simply trying to document a set of events, this type of photography is not very practical. However, for those who take a more artistic approach, this technique can make all the difference in the world. 

Here are a few examples of what you can do with this style of photography. A quick look at these examples will quickly show you how it is possible to use this technique to draw attention to those areas that you want the viewer to see. You can see some further examples of this technique in action by looking at the excellent work done by Tana Taylor Adoption. Ava Rose Taylor doesn't really emphasize this technique as much, but she has been known to use it. Tana Taylor Adoption, on the other hand, has produced some amazing examples of partial color pictures.

Achieving the Desired Effect

There are two ways of getting this effect: the easy way and the hard way. The easy way is to make use of the many smartphone apps that allow one to achieve this effect with minimal time and effort. In most of these apps, you can simply upload your photo, desaturate it (remove the color) if necessary, and select the area to be re-colored. While this is, again, the quickest way to get it done, you won't have as many options. Using a photo editor like Photoshop or GIMP (the Linux equivalent for all you Linux nerds like me) allows you maximum creativity, and isn't that the reason you are doing this in the first place?

To use this effect in Photoshop, you begin by opening the photo and adding a duplicate layer. Now switch back to your first layer and use CTRL+Shift+U to desaturate the image. You will not see the effect until you make the second layer invisible by clicking on the eye icon next to it. Now make it visible again and click on the "Select" menu at the top. Click on "Color Range." Use the eyedropper to sample one of the colors from the picture and set that as the color that you want to keep. You can pick more than one color. Now press OK and hit Ctrl+Shift+I. Press delete and the picture will be cropped of all the unselected colors. You might want to touch it up with the eraser to remove any residual color.

This method truly shines when using photographs to tell a story. Without a single word, it is possible to tell an entire story, but there is always a chance that the audience will have a hard time following the events. This is because people don't always notice the "right" details. With this little trick, you can ensure that only the important parts of the picture will stand out.

Siren Guard Review: Peace Of Mind For The Whole Family

Are you ever concerned about what might happen to you while walking home from work at night? What about your child on their way home from school? While most personal protection solutions carry the risks of conflict escalation and even causing a tragic accident, Siren Guard provides peace of mind without the same risks.

Why Siren Guard Stood Out to Me

I've never been a fan of violence, so I was never certain if I could bring myself to pull the trigger on a firearm or even a can of pepper spray if the situation warranted. Pulling a perceived weapon is likely to escalate any difficult situation, increasing my risk if I couldn't use it.

School shootings have unfortunately become quite commonplace, so I wanted my kids to have protection as well. Of course, giving them a weapon to do so was obviously out of the question. How could I get the peace of mind me and my family needed without contributing to the problem?

That was when I discovered the Siren Guard, a handy little key chain alarm that produces up to 130dB of sound once activated. It sounds just like a police siren, forcing most attackers to head for the hills as soon as they hear it. If they attempt to ignore it, the Siren Guard is loud enough to be heard for miles, allowing passersby and law enforcement to reach a given location easily.

Unlike competing products that require a Master's Degree is Gadgetry to figure out, Siren Guard does not have a complicated setup process or "companion app." Instead, you just pull out a pin from the side of the device to activate the alarm, and push a big button to turn it off. My nine-year old son was initially disappointed that he wouldn't have a new electronic toy to play with (he has the aforementioned Master's in Gadgetry), but he soon understood that this device was for safety, not fun.

Many Trusted Reviews

I loved the idea of a personal alarm, but I needed to determine if it was actually as effective as it claimed. Thus, I went online to read some reviews.

There's no shortage of them, each pointing out another type of person the Siren Guard can help. The first Siren Guard review I was found was on Bloggymoms.com. The author detailed how it gave her peace of mind to know that her two kids could "sound the alarm" whenever they felt threatened.

Serial entrepreneur Agam Berry also posted a Siren Guard review on his Medium account. As an entrepreneur, he's often out and about at odd hours. The Siren Guard allows him to deter any attackers without resorting to a weapon.

Finally, TravelZin.com noted the advantages of a personal protection device that you can take with you when you travel. Why should you feel threatened just because you're on a plane?

Get Peace Of Mind Today With Siren Guard!

If you're interested in the peace of mind that the Siren Guard can provide, it's available for purchase on Amazon and SirenGuard.com. The manufacturer offers bulk discounts in the form of bundle offers. If you purchase one Siren Guard for $42.90, you'll receive a second one free! If you buy two for $82.90, three more are on the house. If you pay $122.90 for three, an additional seven will be included with your order. That's probably enough for everybody in your household and then some!

If you want to protect your friends too, you can get a "family deal" of 20 devices for just $202.90. I love a good buy, but you should consider how many devices you actually need when choosing a package. A few extra wouldn't hurt in case they get lost though!

Ismail Sirdah's Tips On How to Photograph In Low Light

The word “photography” is a combination of two Greek words that mean “light” (photo) and “write” (graphia). The name itself already highlights the importance of light.

But, light is not always abundant. Evenings are the obvious example. Other low light situations are not always as obvious. Indoor photography sometimes involves low-light photography. For those who want to improve their low-light output, Ismail Sirdah has some tips for you.

Learn how to use the flash properly

The obvious solution to not having enough light is to add to it. In photography, this is where the flash comes in. But, using the flash is not always ideal. First, there are some situations where it is inappropriate to use one. An example would be at the theater.

Another issue with using the flash is that it can sometimes produce flat pictures. The flash illuminates the subject only from one direction. As a result, there is not enough shadows or shadings of light to create depth in the photo. The solution to this is to be aware of different light sources so they hit the subject at the right angles.

If you are able to plan ahead for the photo session, bring more than one light source to achieve good photographs.

Use a high ISO

The ISO measures the camera’s sensitivity to light. A high ISO means a brighter picture. You could use an ISO setting within the range of 1600 to 3200.

The problem is that a high ISO setting produces noise in photos. These are when the photos do not appear smooth. Instead, they look grainy. The flaws get more pronounced the more the picture is enlarged. Fortunately, the problem of noise can be solved in post-production. There are software programs designed to specifically address noise in photos.

Use a low shutter speed 

The shutter speed determines how much light reaches the sensors of the camera. Think of it as a door. If it shuts quickly, then the less light enters. If you need more light for the picture, then you must give it more time to enter. Use a slow shutter speed.

One thing you have to consider with a slow shutter speed is the risk of blurring. You can remedy this by using a tripod, so the camera is held steady as it absorbs light.

Use a large aperture

In a nutshell, the aperture is the opening of the lens. A bigger aperture means that more light can come in. It is one way to remedy the low-light conditions.

There can be some confusion in the aperture setting, especially for beginners, because the larger settings mean smaller aperture sizes. For example, an aperture size of F/2.8 is bigger than F/22.

This method works best with a single subject. A bigger aperture means a narrower area of focus or depth of field. Using a large aperture means that you are focusing on a single subject and everything else around it will look blurry.

Use a tripod

Tripods are necessities when it comes to low-light photography. A lot of the tricks depend on increasing the light that enters the camera. The tripod will give you sharper images despised the longer exposure period.

Some cameras have a stabilization feature. It makes automatic adjustments for the natural shakes of humans. These can also be used to take steadier pictures; but, they come second to a tripod’s capability.

Know your camera preset settings

There are some camera models that offer preset settings for different situations, including low-light conditions. These templates often have descriptive names like incandescent or cloudy. Simply choose the appropriate setting and shoot the photos.

Shoot in raw format

Shooting in low-light conditions might require the photo to be processed later on the achieve the best effect. Be prepared for this situation by making it a habit to shoot in RAW format.

This format means that your pictures are stored as unprocessed data and has the light intensity values. The RAW format’s advantage is that you can later process them any way you want because the data is in its original form.

A photo processing software can make adjustments to light, color, and shadow to improve the picture you took.

Pay attention to the subject

Take the disadvantage of low-light conditions and turn it into a benefit. Use the minimal light source to highlight the subject of the photo. For example, you can put the person in a pocket of light so he or she is highlighted.

Help your camera focus on something

The camera might have a hard time sensing where to focus when there is not enough light. When this happens, you will end up with blurry pictures. What you can do is to switch the digital camera setting from automatic focus to manual focus. Turn the focusing mechanism until the subject is clear.

If you were to summarize these Ismail Sirdah tips, you can say that the most important part of low light photography is knowing how to work with the features of the camera. Choose a good model, to begin with and read the manual. Your photographs will show the difference.

Michael (Mike) Asimos' Top Five Favorite Wine Stops In Paris

Michael Asimos has two great passions in life: wine and traveling. Taking a trip to a vineyard is a great way to indulge both interests at once, and Asimos has traveled extensively in his quest to find the best wines.

That said, sometimes the best wines come from exactly where you would expect them to. Paris, France has a multitude of great wine bars and restaurants, and Asimos recently shared his five favorites with us. You'll definitely want to keep this list handy for the next time you visit Paris!

Top 5 Wine Stops in Paris

1. A La Main

This deli/wine bar hybrid was opened by two friends in the Haute-Corse region of Corsica Island to capitalize on a local cuisine that the world has yet to experience. Its impressive wine list highlights numerous selections from the surrounding area, including a white Domaine Granajolo (or Porto Vecchio) with a light and fruity flavor.

Each vintage is expertly paired with bar snacks too. For example, Felix Torr charcuterie made with Corsican pork sourced from local micro-producers is an excellent complement to the 2014 vintage of the wine above.

The establishment's reliance on Corsican producers means that you encounter brands and farms that you may not have much familiarity with. However, A La Main does a great job serving as an accessible gateway to the cuisine of the area.

2. Etna

This little wine bar is located near Odeon, but has neither the outrageous price tags or tourist trap feel commonly associated with the area. The building has a classy black frontage accentuated with exposed stone and wood, making it a comfortable place to spend a few hours.

All the wines served here are sourced from organic grapes and are processed by hand without any artificial chemicals, creating an all-natural sipping experience. You might think that this would hurt the wine list Etna is able to provide, but they have over 350 selections to choose from. They don't offer a menu though, so you need to rely on your server's recommendations to get what you want. That makes it different, but it's not bad. Any true wine connoisseur will enjoy the resulting conversation immensely.

There is a food menu consisting primarily of delicious charcuterie and tapas, each with a recommended wine pairing.

3. La Cave a Michel

Formerly the Contre-Etiquette wine cellar, this rustic establishment was renovated into a wine bar in 2014. It's located near the place Saint-Marthe, a popular "bobo" destination that travelers should have little difficulty finding.

The wines here are unique enough to stand out in a crowded marketplace. For instance, bottles of rose have labels drawn by the illustrators of the world-renowned satirical paper, "Charlie Hebdo." They are also organically produced and paired with meat cuts sourced from a Spanish shop down the street for an unforgettable experience.

The manager, Fabrice, also adds a lot to the experience. He seems to greatly enjoy his role as host, chatting up the patrons about everything from wine tasting to bottle labeling as they sample his products.

4. Le Porte-Pot

Le Porte-Pot combines a lively atmosphere with a curated wine selection. It's located at 14 Rue Boutebrie, making it easy to find. The owner is a sommelier, so you can count on a stellar wine list whenever you visit.

That said, Thursday nights are unquestionably the best time to come here. A jazz concert accompanies your beverage of choice on the unofficial "after-work party night" in Paris, creating a very pleasurable evening.

5. O Chateau

The O Chateau is the only wine bar in Paris to earn the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. It's easy to see why, as they offer a selection of the finest wines available by the glass. A pairing menu consisting of tapas with recommended wine pairings is also available.

However, the establishment's oenology courses (available in both French and English) are the real highlight here. Oenology is the study of wine. If you thirst for both knowledge and a great wine, these courses should not be missed!

The O Chateau is located on Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, giving it a central location that's easy to add to any travel itinerary.

Learn More About Michael and Follow His Wine Journeys

If you're interested in learning more about Asimos and his wine expertise, you can visit his personal blog at MichaelAsimos.com. He also posts regularly on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, so follow him there to get all the latest updates as they happen!